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Planet Café Metropole

photo, group, ron, heather, don, karen, susan, tomoko

Whole 'Group of the Week' – from left, Ron, Heather,
Don, Karen, Susan and Tomoko.

First Annual 'Day After' Meeting

Paris:– Thursday, 4. November 2004:– Since the last two–thirds of the weekend the sky hasn't been too bright, especially in the daytime. Of course it wasn't bright at night, but it only rained during the day. It wasn't much rain though.

Today, with a very dubious forecast, seemed to be trying to pull itself up by its bootstraps. There was a feeling that the sky would get lighter, and the sun might shine. Instead it almost shone, and the distances were soft gray.

Quite a bit better is expected for tomorrow. Colder weather will be leaning against us from the northwest but it should be mainly sunny around here. This is if the sun can burn off the overcast, dry it out, spread its rays over this green and pleasant city.

Even with sunshine the highestphoto, baguette of the week temperature won't get much above 13 degrees. Tonight's TV–weather lady didn't say if this is 'normal for the time of year.' It seems a bit low to me.

Another true 'first' – the 'Baguette of the Week.'

On Saturday it should be kind of sunny again, but there will be a lot of clouds up north and colder weather will be pressing down our necks. The high isn't expected to be more than 11 degrees.

Sunday will probably be ideal for riding the waterproof Métro, visiting museums or lounging around in a restaurant all afternoon; The whole top half of France will be covered by clouds, and it will be a chilly 11 degrees again. Hey! It's November, with November weather. It's right that it acts like November for a change.

The 'Day After' Club Report of the Week

Even though the sky appears as if it is trying to be bright I dress carefully in somber clothes before leaving for the club. I always knew there would be an occasion to wear all black, for a reason other than being in fashion. I didn't know when or why, but today seems like the day for it.

Outside in the larger world pretty much everything seems normal. On the Métro the power goesphoto, beer of the week off between Saint–Placide and Sulpice. Almost before the wagon stops and the emergency lights come on the driver lets us know that the delay is due to somebody misusing the tracks for an unauthorized caper.

They must have hooked whoever it was out of there because we were off again within two minutes, and slammed into the station at Saint–Germain at full tilt. Here I left my private wagon and glided through the quiet streets of the Quartier Latin until I found a bar with cool jazz.

Garden variety 'Beer of the Week.'

This was necessary because I'd forgotten my morning café. I have never done this before. I must be losing it. No need to worry. I uptanked my jolt, and continued un my way, with some boom boom in my tank.

Crossing the Pont des Arts the light was subdued, and everything – like the Louvre – was soft in the gray haze. There was soulful atmosphere along the river, needing only the appropriate script and theme music.

Standing across the road from La Corona, it looks like it had been left there by people who needed to be elsewhere. Nobody on the sidewalk, nobody on the terraces, and when I walk in the door, nobody in the bar and nearly as few live bodies in the 'grande salle.'

In the club's area at the back, there is a black Borsalino and under it can only be Don Smith. When I get closer I see Don Smith's face under the wide brim, so it really must be Don Smith. Who else would wear a brand new Borsalino to a club meeting in November?

Don is not particularly surprised that I know he's wearing a Borsalino. After all, his looks like mine, even if he doesn't know I have one, and some other hip lids. Don says he didn't come to last week's meeting because he was sleeping off jet–lag on account of moving here. He is full of surprises.

He has left Seattle behind and the other 39 Don Smiths who are in the phone book there. He thinks he may be the only Don Smith living in the 14th arrondissement. He's taken a step up in the world.

I am admiring his black hat when Susan Bruce arrives with her sister Karen MacQueen. Susan moved here from Urbana, Illinois and Karen is visiting here because when Karen lived here Susan paid her visits. Both become new club members.

Susan's husband is a professor on a Fullbright thing in Finland, so it makes perfect sense to live in Paris. I tellphoto, I am not a tourist t shirt Susan that Urbana has already been a 'City of the Week,' but as is getting more usual, I am wrong so it becomes this week's 'City of the Week.' It isn't in Ohio, but it's close enough.

Amazing 'Silly T–shirt of the Week.'

On account of being wrong I do not find out the usual tidbits about Urbana. It will just have to settle for the club honor without having my usual pep up. Other places have survived not having it.

Susan and Karen are expecting Heather Stimmler–Hall to show up to give away free t–shirts. Amazingly Heather does walk in just now, but she looks empty–handed. Ah, no, she has a sneaky little sack thing.

For she needs it for carrying her famous book too. This is her just– published 'Adventure Guide to Paris,' which is really big. Nigel used the copy I got last week and I barely had time to stop him ripping out the parts he wanted.

After Susan says it is a wonderful book Karen says, "Buy it, use it, and give it to me."

Heather may be great at writing 450 page guide books but she's lousy with the promotion. She says the Fnac in Montparnasse has books in English for very good prices – ah, for no more than their dollar or pound prices, but in euros of course.


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